Meanwhile, Democratic donors posted a record in low-dollar contributions this weekend, spurred by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon.
Since Ginsburg’s death Friday evening, Democratic donors gave more than $100 million through ActBlue, the online fundraising platform for Democrats and left-leaning organizations, according to the group.
The platform processed about $20 million in donations in the four-hour period following Ginsburg’s death, setting a record for ActBlue, according to the group.
The fervent giving by Democratic donors comes as some form of early voting begins in as many as 20 states, as Americans cast their ballots in a divisive presidential election and the Senate embarks on a high-stakes battle over the Supreme Court nomination.
Democratic donors gave to “candidates up and down the ballot and orgs [sic] on the front lines of the impending judicial confirmation fight. The grassroots is ready to fight to honor Justice Ginsburg’s legacy,” ActBlue tweeted Sunday.
The cash infusion has given the Biden campaign an edge in advertisement spending, particularly in its ability to purchase costly ads in battleground states. Since August, the Biden campaign has outpaced the Trump campaign in television ad reservations, data show. These reservations were made to place ads at any point in the next six weeks of the general election campaign and beyond.
Between Sept. 7 and Sept. 16, Biden added $40.4 million in additional ad spending, according to data from the firm Advertising Analytics, with major buys in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. In the same period, President Trump added just $1.1 million in ad spending, with a large portion carved out for Florida, North Carolina and Arizona. He also cut back spending in several battleground states.
The new Federal Election Commission filings made public on Sunday night showed $642,448 in expenses in August by the Republican National Committee to the National Park Service for event production and staging.
Last month, the White House grounds were used as the venue for two political speeches during the Republican National Convention, by the first lady on the Rose Garden and by Trump on the South Lawn, as he formally accepted the Republican nomination.
Under agreements made by the campaign, the party and the federal government, political funds were to be used to pay for repairs for damages caused by large crowds and heavy equipment for convention purposes, including replacing the sod on the South Lawn and Rose Garden.
And while the original plans for the GOP convention in Charlotte were canceled due to coronavirus event restrictions, the RNC paid $844,000 for venue rental and catering to the Westin Charlotte, which was slated to host convention guests and staff, new filings show.
Meanwhile, new filings by major Democratic and Republican super PACs show wealthy donors ramped up their spending ahead of the November election. Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts to try to influence elections as long as they do not coordinate directly with a campaign.
Senate Leadership Fund, the main super PAC supporting Senate Republicans, raised $37 million in August. Of that monthly haul, $25 million came from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his physician wife Miriam, who are both major GOP donors. The couple gave another $25 million to the super PAC this year, bringing their total donation to the group so far this cycle to $50 million.
Another $4 million came from luxury hotelier Steve Wynn, who resigned as finance chair of the RNC in 2018 amid sexual harassment allegations, but has remained a major donor to the party.
Senate Majority PAC, the super PAC supporting Senate Democrats, raised $17 million in August, including through donations from some workers’ unions and other political action committees.
America First Action, the super PAC supporting Trump’s reelection, raised $23 million in August, with $10 million coming from Kelcy Warren, the chief executive of Energy Transfer Partners, a Texas-based energy company. Warren had previously given to Trump’s reelection effort, as well as to an array of Texas politicians. The $10 million donation to America First Action marks his biggest publicly known donation to date.
Unite the Country, one of the super PACs supporting Biden, raised $2.9 million, with $300,000 coming from James Murdoch, former chief executive of 21st Century Fox and son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
In addition to Biden’s campaign fundraising, former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg last week announced a massive late-stage cash infusion in support of Biden, pledging to spend at least $100 million in Florida.
Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and two affiliated fundraising committees said they raised $210 million last month — a sizable sum that lagged behind Biden’s haul.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh projected confidence, saying the campaign has a “huge volunteer army” with two or three times its 2016 war chest: “Enthusiasm is with Trump. Biden excites no one,” Murtaugh tweeted Friday.
The campaign finance filings for the joint fundraising committees will be made public on Oct. 15, which will show the official fundraising and spending figures for both presidential operations. The campaign and party filings are made public every month, and the latest filings were released Sunday night.